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Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances

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Thursday, July 4, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Lance: To New Kensington “civic boosters.” When the two people who annually undertook the task of fundraising for the city's annual July 4 fireworks became sick and couldn't handle the effort, who took their place? Nobody. That's only the latest sad commentary on the city.

Laurel: To Arnold's city government. The council and the Redevelopment Authority have a plan for the authority act as the agent to dispose of about 60 vacant homes or empty lots the city has acquired through tax sales or condemnations. And the properties will not be sold to speculators, who are sight-unseen Internet buyers from out of state who allow them to deteriorate further. We have our doubts, but applaud the effort.

Lance: To state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe. When a gay legislator attempted to speak about the U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Cranberry Republican blocked it. Declared Daryl, “There's no free speech on the (House) floor.” It's really, really pathetic that he feels that way.

On the “Watch List”: Springdale Council. That's because we'll be “watching” to see how much former police Officer Mark Thom will end up costing the borough. Thom violated a Tarentum man's civil rights by repeatedly using a stun gun on him while he was in custody, a crime he has pleaded guilty to. He is awaiting sentencing. He lost his job, yet the borough has hired him for the summer. Now the victim in the case has filed a slam-dunk civil suit in federal court, one the borough will no doubt settle for big bucks.

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